Each week we change the words/quote/saying that we are displaying on the noticeboard in our kitchen; these are the words we try to live by individually and as a family that week. Some weeks may focus on lifting our mood, others may be about motivation or attitude to life; something that speaks to us on some level and that we can directly apply to our lives. Changing the words each week stops them from becoming just another thing you walk past without really seeing, it keeps things fresh and stops them losing their power. This series is where I share those words with you in the hope they may help you and your family too. If you a new to the series and want to learn more, you can read the first post here, or check out the Words To Live By tab in the top menu.

How my son came up with the best philosophy for life, by talking about Lego

This weeks words come courtesy of my 7yr old son after a conversation about Lego. I was telling him how good I thought his latest creation was (the cave in the above picture) and he started to tell me about his friend at school who never knows what to build unless he has instructions to follow and the advice he gave him:

“I never know exactly what to build either but I just start by just placing one block and then adding another and another until it starts to take shape and I know what it is meant to be. I like placing blocks evenly to create a good base and then move upwards, keeping it even and balanced so it doesn’t break. Every now and then I sit back and look all around it from every angle and if something doesn’t look right I move it or take it off, then I keep going. Once I’ve gone up a few layers I get pictures in my head of how I want it to look and then I make it like that. When I’m happy with it I’ll go choose some more blocks in different colours that I like and start another base.” M, Age 7

That kid never fails to amaze me. On the surface this was just a conversation about how he builds his lego models, but to me it sounded like a great philosophy for life.


How many times have you wanted to do something but just didn’t know where to begin or how to make it happen? I feel like it all the time. It’s so easy to overthink things (the subject of previous post: Don’t Overthink) and procrastinate and put things off, wishing that someone would come along and give us a roadmap and tell us exactly how to do it. What we really need to do is just start; place one block at a time and see where it leads us, stepping back periodically to assess what we have done so far and fix what doesn’t sit right, then keep moving forward.

Make the first step today

This is one of my all time favourite quotes and one I try to remember regularly. To hear this basic philosophy reflected back to me from the mind of a 7yr old was pretty powerful and I knew these had to be the words for this week. It can be applied to all areas of your life, whether its a work goal, a personal dream, a lifestyle change; break it down into ‘blocks’ and place one at a time.

Looking too far ahead can be daunting, just focus on the next step.

You might not know every step you need to take, and sometimes looking too far ahead can be so daunting it puts you off, just make a start, focus on what you can do now and do that, then take the next step and the next and so on.

Starting is the hardest part, get that out of the way and you're half way there

If we think about it too much we can scare ourselves out of taking action at all, just like my son’s friend who rarely took part in their lego building sessions. He was so worried that he wouldn’t be able to come up with anything or that it wouldn’t be any good that he never even tried.

Don't overthink it, just make a start with what you have now

Other times it might be case of thinking through all the things you will need to get or the skills you will need to acquire before you can do something, but this is just another way to put it off. Just take one small step, place one small block, and work with what you have, the rest will come as you move along.

So, this week, whatever it is you have been putting off or worrying over, break it down and just place one block.

I have created a workbook to go along with this week’s words which you can access here:

Workbook for Words to live by 13: place one block

Have a great week everyone x


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15 thoughts on “Words To Live By #13: Place One Block

  1. This is fab Alana. I love motivational quotes and it’s all about breaking life down into manageable chunks. Thanks for sharing and joining us for #marvmondays

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 8:41 am
  2. Yet another fantastic quote to live by – I adore your sons theory to building something – the freedom of imagination and not following instructions is just beautiful isn’t it? Thank you for sharing some more great quotes – it really is about taking that first step – that’s the hardest x #BigPinkLink
    justsayingmum recently posted…Ten Sure Signs You Are Addicted to Social Media!My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:23 am
  3. Yes! Love these, they really are words to live by and your son is already very wise. I agree with the Stephen King. Very true for me at the moment! #MarvMondays
    Emma recently posted…Week 1 of my Moonwalk marathon trainingMy Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:51 am
  4. Your 7 year old is so wise! I hope he carries that mindset with him as he grows up. #MarvMondays
    Angela Watling recently posted…Reasons I am grateful #1My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 3:48 pm
  5. Place one block is a perfect way of looking at tackling big things when you don’t quite know where to start. That Lao Tzu quote is one of my favourites too and one that I often fall back on when I start getting overwhelmed about things – it makes me realise that I don’t have to think about the bigger picture – just take the first step in creating it and see where each step will lead me. I love that your 7yo has already grasped that concept. #candidcuddles
    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) recently posted…From the mouths of babes #104My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 8:50 pm
  6. I adore this, what a fab post and yes what a wonderful philosophy for life. Popping over from #marvmondays
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Elarna at Nearly 2!My Profile

    Posted on 23 January, 2017 at 9:14 pm
  7. Place one block…such a simple approach we adults need to learn from kids! #bigpinklink
    Heather Keet recently posted…The ducks want their lips back…My Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 1:51 am
  8. Place One Block. I love it. I think I might write that in big letters across my diary for when I’m struggling with my to-do list. #dreamteam
    Becki Parsons recently posted…The Little One TagMy Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 9:35 am
  9. It’s lovely to read that al the family inspire the choice of words you use. Our little ones sure can teach us a lot if we let them. This week also reminded me of someone’s view of lighthouses. #GlobalBlogging
    Helena recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your Craft onMy Profile

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 6:32 pm
  10. Every week, I get so excited to know what will be the words to live by. You NEVER disappoint =) #DreamTeam

    Posted on 24 January, 2017 at 7:11 pm
  11. Back again. I read this on #marvmondays and really liked it. #bestandworst
    Fran Back With a Bump recently posted…The Rocking Motherhood TagMy Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 6:23 am
  12. back from #familyfun linky neighbour xx
    justsayingmum recently posted…Ten Sure Signs You Are Addicted to Social Media!My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 12:48 pm
  13. I love look at it as placing one block then the next. The idea of one step at a time, taking the chance & just starting is such great advice! Thanks for sharing your lovely quotes with us at #candidcuddles
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Blogger Club UK 52My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 2:45 pm
  14. What an insightful little man. I am awful for over thinking and sometimes you really do just need to take a step back and approach just one thing at a time. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun xx
    Tammymum recently posted…#FamilyFun…Week 19My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 5:57 pm
  15. Back from #bestandworst still love this 🙂
    Helen Gandy recently posted…Best and Worst Linky #81My Profile

    Posted on 25 January, 2017 at 8:52 pm